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How to Keep a Job


Published 1949


What you need to do to stay employed: choose the right job, get along with colleagues, maintain positive attitude, etc.


Run time 10:46
Producer Coronet Instructional Films
Sponsor N/A
Audio/Visual Sd, C

Shotlist

More conventional wisdom from Coronet presented through the use of the classic "Goofus and Gallant" device.




Ken Smith sez: "Ed" is a teen seeking employment at the "Star Products Company." His interviewer, Mr. Wiley, is a little leery of Ed, since the brash teen had the audacity to quit his prior job. "Nobody thinks very much of a man who talks against the company he works for," Mr. Wiley explains. However, Ed "might really amount to something," so Mr. Wiley tells him the story of identical twins Bob and Walter Anderson, who worked in the Star Products shipping room. Through the miracle of split screen photography (pretty daring for Coronet), we see that teen actor Bob is presentable and conscientious (he gets a promotion) while identical teen actor Walter is sloppy and ungrateful (he gets the boot). "Wouldn't you like to have Bob working for you?" asks Mr. Wiley. Ed is humbled and promises to be a good corporate man from now on. Let's hope he didn't rush out and buy a suit jacket with lapels as wide as Mr. Wiley's.

The boss of The Star Products Co., to answer some questions to the young man, Ed, that he is interviewing, provides the example of Bob and Walter, two identical twins in the shipping department of his company. The young men on the job are pictured as he describes the activities of a good employee, Bob, a dependable "eager beaver" and Walter, the example of how "not to keep a job". Dependability, Cooperation, Initiative, and Loyalty are emphasized.
Punching a time clock
Close-up of termination notice
Close-ups of man's footsteps
Close-up of circling a job opportunity in the want ads for Star Products Co.
Close-up of Application for Employment, signing name
Close-up of form being put into slot of "Employee's Suggestion Box"
Careers Jobs Workers Labor Work Unemployment Surrealism Strangeness Camera Stunts Gimmicks Tricks
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Reviews

Reviewer: jenniferger - - October 30, 2011
Subject: Not bad...
...but unrealistic. For example, the bit about loyalty to the company is quite dated now, since we all know there are two sides to every story and some employees do indeed have a right to be unhappy with their management, hence unions. I've also never met a manager who actually spent any time trying to personally develop the employees or nurture their careers with any words of wisdom. These days, the best you can hope for is a torturous team building day that leaves you feeling demoralized. If people ever really behaved like this manager does in the film, I would be surprised.
Reviewer: donwert - - March 3, 2010
Subject: Hey Slacker!
Fairly common sense notions of how to get and keep a job from the hokey world of Coronet, where folks believe that the only real sin is cynicism...
Reviewer: dynayellow - - September 5, 2003
Subject: Not since The Usual Suspects
A recently terminated young man applies for a new job and is drawn into a psychological game of cat and mouse with his prospective employer. First Mr. Wiley asks Ed why he was fired, and when add replies "Why was I fired?" Wiley replies, "How should I know?" Ed agrees with the intelligence of this reply, but it was all just a gambit in Mr. Wiley's little game: he does know why Ed was fired!

Wiley continues playing his little cat-and-mouse game with Ed throughout the film, seeming to care deeply about the boy, but in the end, he has been played again. Brothers vanish and are reinvented, and Wiley is revealed to be a master manipulator on the level of Kaiser Soze.
Reviewer: Spuzz - - August 13, 2003
Subject: The scope of Coronet actors
In this seemingly endless race of who made the most Coronet social guidance films of the "Datign Do's and Don'ts' boys, the kid who played "Alan Woodruff" stars here, playing twins!
A young man goes to apply for a job, he didn't like his old job and he was fired. The employer-to-be relates the story of the twin brothers. This is sort of a goofus and Gallant type of story, where one guy does everything right, while the other slacks off. A pretty good film, with a pretty stupid twist ending..
Reviewer: Christine Hennig - - November 6, 2002
Subject: How to Keep a Job
Ed gets fired and has to look for another job. He goes to a thoroughly unbelivable job interview with a guy who is determined to educate him out of his shortcomings, even though he's just met him. He tells him a contrived story about Bob (Gallant) and his twin brother Walter (Goofus), and how one is a slacker and the other is a booster. Ed sees his own slacking ways described and becomes a booster all the way, so he gets a great job in the mail room. This film is Coronet through and through, which makes it great fodder for msting.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****. Also available on The Educational Archives, Vol. 4: On the Job.
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